Go bold with wallpaper

I love what wallpaper does for a space. Adding texture, warmth, or a bold focal point. I blanketed my own living and dining rooms in a textured grasscloth and gave our tiny hallway a funky monkey motif.

And I’ve used graphic wallpapers in several projects.

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Mixing patterns

One of the questions I get asked the most is about mixing patterns. What goes? What doesn’t?

I have a few rules that might help.

Mixing pattern 1

Fabric Floral by Persnickety, ($24.70/yard)

Large chevron stripe in sunny yellow and white, ($11/yard)

Liberty of London Tana Lawn Classics in Hot Pink Wiltshire, ($36.52)

Charcoal dots, ($17.50/yard)

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Gift guide for the morning person

I worked on several gift guides for various publications this year (more on that in the coming weeks). You can read my best gifts series here, here, here and here. For Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, I found the best gifts for every food lover on your list. Might sound a little complicated, but it was so much fun to do. Pick up the December/January issue on newsstands now, click here to read the story online and read on to see some of my favorite things that we didn’t put in the issue, starting, today, with items for the brunch lover.

December/January Rachael Ray

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A site to bookmark

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to a favorite online flea market. Today, I have another site you should definitely bookmark. The savvy women behind One Kings Lane launched a new marketplace for vintage and used goods. And Hunters Alley definitely has some goods.

It’s not a site you should venture to in search of a bargain. When a velvet embroidered pillow has an asking price of $265, you know you won’t be getting a steal on anything. But if you’re in the market for something specific that you haven’t found anywhere else, Hunters Alley is worth searching. I would also come window shopping here if I wanted the real deal in terms of vintage or antique.

Here are a few of the things I love.

Hunters Alley

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Best gifts gift guide

A vintage map makes a great gift. For the second installment of the best gifts gift guideFouth Floor Walkup blogger Lauren Caron, the antique map of Paris, which predates the Eiffel Tower’s 1889 debut that her mom gave, her tops her list of favorite gifts. You can read why here.

I actually used this idea even before I wrote this piece for CountryLiving.com.

Brendan was my bridesguy in my wedding. He is literally my oldest friend. Our families used to go camping together when we were kids. We would spend days fishing, hunting for buried treasure and playing hide and seek in the woods. Some of my fondest childhood memories center around these weekend excursions.

Since I was personalizing each of my bridal parties’ gifts, I decided to give Brendan something that showed him how much these times as kids meant to me.

Brendan's map

I decided finding a vintage map of Arizona was the way to go. I purchased this fun 1950s vintage state map. It kind of resembled something we would have used to hunt down that buried treasure I mentioned. I added my own touch of childish whimsy to it by coloring in some of the forests and mountains where we set up camp over the years.

I found this map here but ebay has a selection. Majesty Maps & Prints sells beautiful maps specifically for interiors, or you can search for vintage maps on Wikimedia Commons, download any of them for free, then have it printed to your frame size specifications (take my advice on finding great large frames inexpensively) at a local copy shop.

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